A new policy document, directed at the European Commission’s ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ initiative, calls for legislators to safeguard diversity, take steps towards a climate neutral theatre sector, and tackle widespread digital poverty.
The European theatre community have made an unprecedented call for policymakers and politicians across the continent to make sweeping changes in support of a “resilient” theatre sector, fit for the future.
A new policy document has been released by the European Theatre Convention (ETC) network of theatres, which counts 42 theatres from 26 countries, urging Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, and the Council of the European Union to support pioneering theatre “that is as diverse as our local communities.”
It adds that policymakers must take steps towards a climate-neutral and sustainable theatre sector” and continue to lead the way “towards accessible theatre in a post-Covid world.”
“Europe needs to remain an avant-garde place, driven by ideas, content, and values,” the document stresses.
“If we want to face the complex global challenges, European stakeholders must put policy into practice and help us join forces with leading partners in innovation, research and education, bringing the culture and talents of our next generation together to pave the way for the future we want to create.”
The document has been submitted to the Conference on the Future of Europe, a new listening exercise by the European Commission to decide Europe’s challenges and priorities for the future, considering the ideas and viewpoints of Europe’s people.
Download the document below.
Conference on the Future of Europe - Reflection & Ideas for Action 2022.pdf
This new policy document, directed at the European Commission’s ‘Conference on the Future of Europe’ initiative, calls for legislators to safeguard diversity, take steps towards a climate neutral theatre sector, and tackle widespread digital poverty.
- The document is created by the European Theatre Convention (ETC), a network of 42 major European theatres across 26 countries.
- It collected the views of leading European theatre makers at an event in 2021 and is now urging European politicians to implement them.
- The document calls for development of a “resilient theatre sector” by supporting pioneering and diverse theatre.
- This is joined by calls to take steps towards a climate neutral sector, and lead the way to accessible theatre in a post-Covid world
Theatre for the Future of Europe
Theatres in Europe have faced an intensely difficult recovery period from the Covid-19 pandemic: a report found incomes in the performing arts collapsed by 90% between 2019 and 2020.
In the push for rebuild, the theatre directors call for theatres that “listen to European citizens” to build theatres as collective and participatory spaces, which pays attention to cultural diversity and the vulnerability of the complex theatre ecosystem.
It also calls for backing long-term plans to connect with communities in urban and rural environments and enabling socially responsible and sustainable working conditions for people working in theatre.
With this focus on social sustainability in mind, the creators of the policy document stress theatre must remain “based on democratic principles,” “an open space for engagement,”, and a place “to challenge and ask difficult questions.”
“Take the economy of attention – how do we prove our worth at a time of competing with powerful streaming platforms and other live entertainment? Theatres nurture the talent that then features on Netflix!”
Similarly, the document calls for providing sufficient financial support for digital theatre experiences so that they can stand shoulder to shoulder with live experiences - and for policymakers to tackle digital poverty to ensure universal access to digital activity.
European Year of Youth 2022
In October 2021, the European Theatre Convention (ETC) gathered theatre makers from all over Europe in Malta for debates about the kind of Europe they need.
In anticipation of the European Year of Youth 2022, the event also featured significant input from young people around the continent for their views on how to build a more sustainable and inclusive future.
“The planet is on fire, the ice is melting and the ecosystem that sustained biodiversity is collapsing,” young people said. “What are we going to do?”
The Conference on the Future of Europe is expected to deliver its results this Spring.